Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Maurice Louca - Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute The Parrot) [Nawa Recordings 002]

Dealing with more oriental sounds of Egyptian origin is the forthcoming sophomore album of the Cairo-based composer and musician Maurice Louca which will be released via Nawa Recordings under the name of "Benhayyi Al-Baghbahan (Salute The Parrot)" on November 17th. Following up on his 2007-debut "Bikya" he and his fellow guest musicians like Shaker Ismael, Mahmoud Abd El Khalek, Alaa 50, Alan Bishop, Mohamad El Mahalawy and many more are amalgamating a musical body of various styles representing the Arab world with elements like slow, but heavy Rock drumming - "Al'Asr Adh-Dhababi (The Golden Age)" - or Bhangra-reminiscing rhythms - "Al-Mashoub (Idiot)" to a coherent ensemble that frees the Arab music from the shady drawer that so-called World Music might be seen as and makes it - maybe also due to the mostly instrumental nature of the compositions - more accessible to a Western audience that is usually not very familiar with or used to listening to Arab scales but will well float along the more electronic and dancefloor-focused title track whilst "Tassaddu' (Rupture)" turns the focus towards odd loops and weird, dubby cycles. With the psychedelic organs, tripping strings and twisted cross references to Jazz found in "Maksim (Maxim)" Maurice Louca caters a quite fascinating piece of Arab Psychedelia that's followed by a kitsch-dripping fusion of Blues-/Country-infused twang guitars and super cheesy synths in "Al-Mallahat (Salt Pans)". In "Sharraq Rah Tegharrab (It Will Set)" heavily twisted, digitally obscured male vocal bits are accompanied by a more balearic foundation that might be best described as of live played ChillOut / Downtempo origin with a FreeJazz twist before the final cut "Malnash Diyah (Spineless)" brings some old cliches of snake charming fakirs back to mind due to the super obvious main melody meandering around a set of well-abstract, yet block rockin' beats, finally proving that "Benhayyi Al-Baghbahan (Salute The Parrot)" is an album well worth to check out, even if Arab music is not your favourite musical playground of choice


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